20.04.2023 | News Overview

Achilles refines the packaging industry


Innovative products for 80 years

With innovative products, constant new developments and a high level of expertise, the Achilles Group has been proving itself on the market for almost 80 years. The secret of success: an extensive range of services, proximity to customers and the full commitment of all employees.
The headquarters of Werner Achilles GmbH & Co. KG is located in Celle, Lower Saxony. Founded in 1946 as a one-man operation by Werner Achilles as a glossy film laminating company, the business model of today’s Achilles Group is based on three pillars. The core business is print finishing, which also includes film lamination and screen printing applications. Another important branch of the company is the production of presentation products. In the 1970s this mainly involved ring and lever binders; today the focus is on packaging made from hard cardboard and rigid boxes. At the end of the 2000s, the company developed a special coating technology that prevents scratches and traces of fingerprints on laminating films and ensures mattness. This area forms the third pillar of the Achilles Group.

Well positioned

With the constant expansion of the portfolio, the family business has developed into an internationally active group with around 300 employees. The Achilles Group is still headquartered in Celle. There are five further production sites in Germany in Landau, Flörsheim, Leipzig, Düsseldorf and Wemding. In the Czech Republic, the company produces at two other locations in Budweis and Prague. There is also a sales company in Austria and one in Switzerland.

The many production locations and the extensive range of services are the strengths of the Achilles Group, as managing director and grandson of the company founder Fabian Roessing emphasizes: “The three pillars of the company – Achilles presents, Achilles refines, Achilles films, ensure the development of innovative new products. Thanks to our geographically broad footprint, we are always nearby and can advise our customers personally and respond to individual requests in order to offer creative, flexible and high-quality solutions.” Roessing also sees the resulting short delivery routes and times as a major advantage over his own competitors.

But almost 80 years of experience also form the company’s foundation: competencies as a service provider in the printing and packaging industry as well as high quality standards have been acquired and expanded over the years. The very experienced employees, who have extensive expertise in these segments, form the heart of the Achilles Group. “Especially in the area of packaging, extensive consulting expertise is irreplaceable. The customer wants a solution that is optimally tailored to his product. Here we can optimally combine packaging and finishing to offer real added value,” reports Roessing.

Sustainable Business

The most important milestones in the company’s history include the granting of a patent for the first German laminating machine in 1949, but also the launch of presentation products and the development of the company’s first special laminating film. Just as the company’s portfolio has constantly developed over the years, the wishes of customers have also changed. Sustainability is becoming more and more important at the POS, says Roessing. Expensive films are increasingly being dispensed with, but great value is still placed on good looks. “We are countering this development with transfer metallization. This allows us to create a metal effect on the cardboard without leaving any foil on it. The advantage is that less plastic is used, but the folding box is still visually appealing,” explains Roessing. The managing director is also calm about the trend of saving packaging material for the benefit of the environment: “We are currently working with our customers and suppliers on solutions for more sustainable products.”

Future prospects

The fact that this only works with a holistically sustainable company philosophy is shown by the plans to be around 50 percent self-sufficient in electricity generation at the Celle location by mid-2024. Also on the agenda is the development of digital business models in order to become even more modern and innovative. The printing professionals only recently added paper laminations to their portfolio. And the expansion of print products to include a digital level such as the integration of NFC technology already indicates that the Achilles Group still has a lot planned.

(Display April/May 2023)